(photo credit: ITZIK EDRI/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)
The Knesset plenum passed the Parental Leave Law and the law to compensate victims of terrorist attacks abroad in their second and third readings on Tuesday.
According to the first law, paid parental leave will be extended from 14 weeks to 15 and will apply retroactively to those who have given birth since January 1, 2017. In addition, the law determines that in the next six months, the possibility of extending the leave to 16 weeks will be evaluated.
The bill would reduce the minimum period to one week, in an effort to encourage fathers to take time off and share in raising the child.
The last time maternity leave was extended was in 2007, from 12 weeks to the current 14.
The explanatory notes of the law say that this reform will contribute to the baby's sense of confidence and will make their transition to kindergartens smoother. It also say that the law will reduce the number of cases in which women are retiring from their workplace due lack of proper arrangements for their babies after the period ends.
The second law will give Israelis who were wounded or killed in a terrorist attack abroad state recognition and entitle them or their families to compensation. A committee in the Defense Ministry will examine the cases and recognize the victims, even if the attack was not specifically against Israelis or the Jewish people.
In addition, the Law states that compensation would be given retroactively to victims of terrorism attacks in the past five years.
The explanatory notes of the law say that due to the rising number of terrorism attacks around the world in which Israelis are killed or wounded, a mechanism for recognition and compensation is needed.
“In recent years we witnessed a dramatic increase in the number of terrorist attacks around the world that are being carried by global terrorist organizations that try with all means to harm what they can, including Jews in general and Israeli citizens specifically,” it says in the notes.
“Unfortunately, although the attacks were not aimed against Israeli or Jewish targets, more than once Israeli citizens were injured or killed in them. In recent months we have seen such incidents, such as [when] Layan Nasser [from Tira, who was among the 39 slain] in the [New Year’s Eve] shooting attack in Istanbul, and Dalia Elyakim [from Herzliya, who was among the 12 slain on December 19] in the ramming attack in Berlin.
“The law wishes to grant this recognition to the victims and fix the injustice,” it concludes.